First-time young voters will have big impact in GE15

GEORGE TOWN: The 15th General Election will be an opportunity for young voters to demonstrate their strength as a bloc.

Architects of Diversity co-founder Jason Wee said a recent “Youth Aspiration Manifesto” survey’ showed that 80% of those aged between 18 and 30 were eager to vote, adding, however, that 40% of them are still undecided which party they will vote for, said Wee, who is also a first-time voter.

Wee said the next GE would be crucial as those aged between 18 and 24 would be engaged for the first time.

“It is vital to note that democratic participation does not end at the ballot box. We should not expect our voices to be heard through just our vote, but also through the day-in day-out engagement with our parties,” he added.

Undi18 NGO co-founder Tharma Pillai said a big turnout among young voters and their voting pattern will have a strong impact on the future government and policy makers in terms of prioritisation.

“It will impact how the government invests its funds and uses its resources,” he said.

Tharma said an engagement programme with those aged between 18 and 20, revealed they were excited to be part of the democratic process.

“However, we see some levels of uncertainty and nervousness where they feel that they might not have all the information needed on who they want to vote for or side with. I think that is something that concerns these new voters,” he said.

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